Professional female race car driver Leilani Münter said Monday she drives an electric car to stave off global warming — along with being a vegan, of course.
Münter — a University of California graduate, environmentalist, and former NASCAR driver — wrote in an op-ed for The Guardian about the role fossil fuels play in changing the Earth’s climate, detailing how she adopts an acre of forest for every race she runs.
Münter also noted that when not competing in races, she can be seen puttering around in her all-electric car. The green-friendly race car driver told reporters in 2014 that she once drove her Tesla Model S EV from North Carolina to Chicago to compete in a race.
“I am proud to have now driven more than 33,000 miles in my electric car over the past couple of years and thanks to the solar panels on the roof of my house,” Münter wrote. “I am driving on sunshine.”
She went on to say that curbing fossil fuel usage is only one way to stop global warming. The best way to stop global warming, according to Münter, is to reduce meat consumption.
“Currently, one-third of all the arable land on the planet is being used to grow feed for livestock,” she wrote. “Combined with the animals themselves, this means that the production of meat is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.”
Münter pointed to a recent report showing government education on “the climate-meat connection” was a critical component to meeting the 2 degree Celsius warming goal of the Paris Agreement.
She went on to champion a Department of Agriculture proposal last year suggesting new dietary guidelines encourage people to eat less meat. She called the guidelines sound and “forward looking.”
But the noble effort was thwarted, Münter wrote, by political lobbyists and the meat industry, most of which continue to stymie the all vegan effort.
“They have use their vast influence in Washington to have their profits put ahead of the health of the American people, the welfare of billions of animals – and the future of the planet,” she wrote.
Bill Nye “The Science Guy” mirrored Münter’s anti-fossil fuel sentiments in a January op-ed for Aeon, in which he argued NASCAR should go green and change its name to National Electric Stock Car Racing, or NESCAR.
“Here I am trying to envision the smart, efficient transportation technology of tomorrow, and there is NASCAR doing the opposite — celebrating a very old transportation technology of yesterday,” wrote Nye, who has made a living in the 1990s acting as a scientist.
He continued: “NASCAR kinda breaks my heart. It’s a celebration of old tech. It uses gasoline burning instead of electron flowing. I wish NASCAR were more like NASA. I wish NASCAR were more about the future instead of the past.”
Münter concluded her commentary by arguing she is trying to use her celebrity status to shift NASCAR and stock car racing culture — which is known mostly as a haven for political conservatives — from one that pooh-poohs any invocations of climate change to one that fully embraces solutions to man-made global warming.
“By bringing environmental messages to the racing world, I’m raising awareness on critical issues to that audience that isn’t otherwise engaged in discussions of climate change.”
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